2022 Hyundai Venue first-drive review: Blitz attack on newer rivals
Hyundai has a firm grip over the SUV segments in the mass-market passenger vehicle category and a bulk of its dominance has been courtesy just two models - Creta and Venue. While Creta remains a power-seller, the Venue has also raked in some very impressive numbers despite a slew of newer rivals challenging its reign. Three lakh units sold in a little over three years since first launch, Hyundai Venue has built on the success of the Creta and carved out its own path forward. And just when it appeared as if the sheer dominance - challenged only by the Maruti Suzuki Brezza - was on the wane due to a plethora of other credible options, the 2022 Hyundai Venue has stormed in with a clear and unequivocal focus on the young and young at heart.
The bulk of the success enjoyed thus far by Hyundai Venue has been due to its smart looks, compact proportions, feature-rich cabin and reasonably adequate drive traits. A robust sales channel, post-sales network and resale value also helps enormously. But in the ever-evolving world of automobiles, change is the only constant and banking on dated laurels is an invitation for others to come and stage a coup. And Hyundai won't have any of it.
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Launched at a starting price of ₹7.55 lakh (ex-showroom, introductory), the latest Hyundai Venue promises a blitzkrieg counter-attack to any hopes being harboured by rivals to climb to the very top of the segment. And just days after its official launch in Delhi last week, we landed in pleasant Hyderabad to test the intensity of the counter-attack.
Here's the first-drive review of the 2022 Hyundai Venue:
First things first, the latest Hyundai Venue is a smart, young-looking SUV that sheds its previous visual highlights while still retaining the essentials. Looks can be subjective - my go-to line when describing exterior details of a car - but chances are that an overwhelming majority would look at the new Venue fondly.
The dark chrome front grille for instance is the dominating aspect of the new Venue's face. We have seen it on the new Creta being sold in overseas markets and will see it once again on the upcoming Tucson that's gearing up for a launch on July 13. Hyundai calls it the Parametric Jewel design but regardless of fancy monikers, it does give this SUV a very pronounced face. Flanking the grille are sleek turn-indicator housings and just below these are the LED projector head light units.
The smart stance continues to the side with Venue continuing to stand on 16-inch wheels but now complete with a new design on the diamond-cut alloys that make it look extremely sporty whether on the move or just standing still. Puddle lamps have been incorporated on the ORVMs while the top variant gets chrome treatment on all four door handles. Do note here that Hyundai has gone easy on chrome treatment which is good because in the past, some of the Korean models have had more bling than the fingers of an American rap idol.
The new Venue though relies on actual aesthetics rather than cosmetics to strike a visual chord and this is perhaps best underlined at the rear where new and futuristic tail lights are connected with an LED light bar all across the boot wing. The rear bumper design has also been reworked and the Venue now has a wider profile even if the exterior dimensions remain the same.
The Venue is offered in six exterior body colour options - Silver, Grey, Blue, White, Black and Red. There is also a single dual-tone colour option - Red with Black roof - at ₹15,000 extra.
It isn't always easy to bring a raft of style changes to the body of a car and still manage to hold on to its inherent visual traits but the folks at Hyundai have managed to pull it off with the Venue, perhaps better than they did in the completely overhauled second-generation Creta which, still, received an overwhelming response.
|Hyundai Venue dimensions (in mm)|
|Boot space||350 litres|
|Fuel tank capacity||45 litres|
Hyundai Venue cabin highlights:
The latest Venue now has an even more modern cabin while staying true to its otherwise clean layout credentials. Take the dashboard and the seats for instance. Both get a black and beige colour theme which while not an exercise in extravagance, helps the cabin have an airy feel all around.
What's also new is an updated eight-inch main HD infotainment screen that sits in the middle of the central AC vents. It is responsive as ever, crisp as ever and as responsive to touch as it has always been. Could Hyundai have bumped up the size to 10 inches just for bragging rights? Sure. Does it really matter? Not really. The screen supports 10 regional languages - a segment first, can incorporate multiple user profiles, displays weather updates and even puts out the latest in sports news - football and cricket. Nature sounds - seen in some of the Kia models - makes its debut in the Venue but honestly, it is very gimmicky and is unlikely to be used frequently.
Nothing gimmicky at all about the eight-inch all-digital driver display which puts out all basic and relevant information - speed, torque, instantaneous mileage , fuel status, tyre pressure status and more - in a bright and large font.
The other feature highlights include a D-cut steering wheel with controls mounted, segment-first power driver seat, electric sunroof, ambient lighting, air-purification system with display, wireless phone charging, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and Bluelink Connected technology with phone and smartwatch support for over 60 functions.
In terms of space and comfort, the Venue takes small steps in the right direction even if the cabin still feels a little cramped despite the airy feel mentioned previously. The back of the front seats have been smartly carved in to open a bit more of knee room while under-thigh support is definitely far better. But the leg space and shoulder room for three seated side-by-side still is only adequate at best.
As far as cargo space is concerned, Venue still offers 350 litres of luggage area but a smart two-step rear reclining seat functionality in 60:40 ratio means space can be customized for additional luggage on long journeys.
Hyundai Venue drive characteristics
The Venue is one among a few sub-compact SUVs that continues to get both petrol as well as diesel engine options. Now that's a big one-up against its main rival, Maruti Brezza, which was initially only with a diesel engine option before opting for a petrol-only strategy.
The Venue, on the other hand, gets a 1.2-litre MPI petrol motor, a 1.0-litre turbo GDI petrol unit and a 1.5-litre CRDi diesel engine. Now each of these engine options have their unique highlights but the bad news still is that if you want an automatic or semi-automatic gearbox, the most-affordable petrol motor and the diesel motor are out of the equation. Similarly, if you want a manual stick with the capable turbo petrol motor, the iMT (semi-automatic) is your only option.
|Engine options in 2022 Hyundai Venue||Max power||Max torque|
|Kappa 1.2 MPI petrol||83 PS @ 6,000 rpm||113.8 Nm @ 4,000 rpm|
|Kappa 1.0 Turbo GDi petrol||120 PS @ 6,000 rpm||172 Nm @ 1,500-4,000 rpm|
|U2 1.5 CRDi diesel||100 PS @ 4,000 rpm||240 Nm @ 1,500-2,750 rpm|
That said, the tag-team between the turbo engine and the second-generation DCT is quite a potent one. And this is the only variant we chose to focus on in our first-drive run.
Tap of the throttle and the Venue still pulls typically eager with the DCT slotting the right number at almost every rev band. Push beyond the triple-digit mark and there is some engine noise that seeps inside the cabin but quick and sneaky overtake moves are quite rewarding. I still wish this engine came with a manual gearbox considering how slick Hyundai manual gearboxes are.
Numerically, the figures in the table above are constant but there are some subtle yet noticeable changes that is evident to someone who has been driving a Venue all these past years. The steering set up, for instance, is slightly more rigid and that's a great shift away from how Hyundai steering wheels otherwise feel. Still nifty around tight spaces, the Venue now offers a bit more heft at high speeds from the steering. The suspension too is slightly stiffer compared to the set up on the previous model although the ride is still a bit too jumpy for my personal preference.
Hyundai Venue verdict
The Venue is a smart SUV under four metres that had just about started looking dated despite being just three years old in the market. That's not so much a reflection on the model but due to the plethora of rivals that have come out to stake a share in the segment.
|2022 Hyundai Venue: Full price structure|
|1.2-litre MPi petrol (five-speed MT)||₹7.53 lakh||₹8.70 lakh||₹9.50 lakh||₹10.69 lakh|
|1.0-litre Turbo petrol (iMT & DCT)|| ₹9.99 lakh (iMT)|
₹10.96 lakh (DCT)
| ₹11.92 lakh (iMT)|
₹12.57 lakh (DCT)
|1.5-litre CRDi diesel (six-speed MT)||₹9.99 lakh||₹11.42 lakh||₹12.32 lakh|
|(All prices are ex-showroom &|
In that sense alone, the latest Hyundai Venue packs a slew of very solid, very credible updates, complete with a young visual profile. It is a model that is tailor-made for the younger generation - Hyundai says millennials driving sales for fully-loaded vehicles - which would suit this car really well once again.
- Sporty looks
- Feature list updated
- Capable turbo engine with iMT and DCT
- Jumpy suspension
- Not the most spacious of rear seats
Hyundai has played it smart by incorporating several key feature highlights but as is increasingly the case with most OEMs, an overwhelming number of these features are reserved for the upper variants which now carry a rather hefty price tag owing to several factors. If you are someone in the market for a sub-compact SUV, you cannot go wrong with the new Venue even though the updated Brezza perhaps also deserves a keen look and comparison.